Construction work zones play a key role in maintaining and upgrading our roadways. However, they are also potentially dangerous: on average, over 700 fatalities occur in work zones each year. Hundreds more accidents in work zone result in serious injuries.
If you are in an accident in a work zone, you may be entitled to compensation. There are many other parties who may be responsible for your damages. First, the other driver and their insurance company may be responsible. If the other vehicle was a commercial truck, vehicle or a bus, the company may be responsible if their driver acted negligently.
Additionally, the construction company or companies performing the road work operate under a number of obligations placed on them by state and federal law. For instance, they must (1) properly warn approaching drivers of a work zone, (2) identify a safe lane for drivers, (3) properly control traffic; (4) ensure that there are no construction materials or equipment in the roadway; and (5) ensure that there is no debris in the roadway. If the construction company performing the road work has made an error or failed to fulfill one of these or other obligations, the contractor or subcontractor may be liable for resulting damages.
Lastly, the respective local and state government agencies are responsible for maintaining public roads so they are in a safe condition for motorists. In certain circumstances, these municipal entities could also be liable for work zone accidents. However, filing a claim against a governmental entity for an accident caused by a dangerous or defective roadway presents a multitude of challenges.
If you have been involved in an automobile accident in a work zone, contact the experienced attorneys at Cohn Lifland Pearlman Herrmann & Knopf LLP for help.